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					                                          Table of Contents

Motor Vehicle Excise.......................................................................................................... 1
  Motor Vehicle Excise [60A] .............................................................................. 1
      Excise Levy ................................................................................................. 1
      Place Where Excise Is Due and Payable ...................................................... 1
  Calculation of the Excise ................................................................................. 1
      Determination of Value ............................................................................... 1
      Registration Period ..................................................................................... 2
  Collecting the Excise ....................................................................................... 2
      Preparation of Tax Bills and Commitment ................................................... 2
      Where Excise Assessed and Collected [60A:6].............................................. 2
      Accuracy of Commitment to Warrant .......................................................... 2
      Mailing Excise Bills (See Ch. IE.) ................................................................. 2
      Bills Returned for Incorrect Address ........................................................... 3
      Failure to Receive a Bill [60A:2]................................................................... 3
      Death of an Owner...................................................................................... 3
  Form and Content of Bills................................................................................ 4
      Form of Bills ............................................................................................... 4
  Delinquent Bills .............................................................................................. 5
      Use of a Deputy Collector............................................................................ 5
      Date Due and Payable [60A:2] ..................................................................... 5
      Payment Adjustments ................................................................................. 6
      Demand...................................................................................................... 6
      Interest ....................................................................................................... 6
      Warrant to the Deputy Collector ................................................................. 6
      Non-Renewal of License and Registration .................................................... 6
      Other Remedies .......................................................................................... 8
  Uncollectible Excise [60A:7] ............................................................................. 8
  Abatements Pursuant to Ch. 58 §8 .................................................................. 8
  Statute of Limitations ...................................................................................... 8
  Bankruptcy (See Ch. Ill of this manual.) .......................................................... 9
      Priority Claim ............................................................................................. 9
      Marking ...................................................................................................... 9
      Proof of Claim ............................................................................................. 9
  Abatements ..................................................................................................... 9
      Authority to Abate ...................................................................................... 9
      Circumstances Entitling Registrant to Abatement ....................................... 9
      Minimum Abatements .............................................................................. 10
      Procedures for the Collector ...................................................................... 10
      Interest on Abatements ............................................................................. 10
  Education, Scholarship and Low Income Elderly & Disabled Fund Donations 10


                                                                                                                     Page 6-i
Motor Vehicle Excise

   Lifetime Registrations.................................................................................... 11
       Applicability ............................................................................................. 11
       Causes for Ending Lifetime Status ............................................................ 11
       Suspended Registration ............................................................................ 11
       Renewal Cycle .......................................................................................... 11
       Renewal Options ...................................................................................... 11




Page 6-ii
                                            Chapter 6
                              Motor Vehicle Excise

Motor Vehicle Excise [60A]
Excise Levy
Except as otherwise provided, there must be an excise assessed and levied each
calendar year on every motor vehicle and trailer registered in the Commonwealth.

Place Where Excise Is Due and Payable
The excise must be payable to the community in which the vehicle is principally
garaged. When an individual moves during a calendar year, payment is due where
the vehicle was originally garaged on January 1st or where garaged on the date of
registration if registered after January 1st.

Calculation of the Excise
Determination of Value
   1.   The value of a vehicle for excise purposes is the applicable Ch. 60A §1
        percentage of the manufacturer's suggested retail price of that vehicle in
        its year of manufacture:
           In the year preceding the designated year of manufacturer ....... 50%
           In the year of manufacturer ..................................................... 90%
           In the second year ................................................................... 60%
           In the third year ...................................................................... 40%
           In the fourth year .................................................................... 25%
           In the fifth and succeeding years ............................................. 10%
   2.   Assessors should not consider a vehicle's condition and market value in
        determining the excise value.
   3.   The rate of excise is $25 per $1,000 of valuation.
   4.   A special excise is assessed to motor vehicle dealers of $100 per plate for
        every dealer plate issued to that dealer for the respective calendar year.
   5.   No excise bill may be less than $5. No abatements may be granted and no
        refund may be paid in an amount less than $5.




                                                                                                 Page 6-1
Motor Vehicle Excise

Registration Period
Vehicles registered during a month and after January 1st
   1.      A vehicle registered at any time during a month is considered to have been
           registered for the entire month.
   2.      For vehicles registered after January 31st, the excise amount due equals
           that fraction of a full year's excise that the number of months registered
           bears to twelve months. For example, if a vehicle is registered on April
           30th, it will be assessable for nine months; the excise due will be 9/12 of
           a full year's excise.

Collecting the Excise

Preparation of Tax Bills and Commitment
   1.      The Registry of Motor Vehicles will print excise bills for any city or town
           which so wishes. Those communities will be assessed 15 cents per bill on
           the Cherry Sheet.
   2.      As an alternative, the Registry of Motor Vehicles will provide on computer
           tape, at no charge, all the information necessary for a community to print
           its own bills.
   3.      Before preparing its own bills, a city or town must file with the Registry's
           Production Control Office a “Notice of Intent to Print Motor Vehicle Excise
           Bills.”
   4.      A community may then print bills without further notice to the Registry,
           provided the bills conform to the minimum requirements for form and
           content.

Where Excise Assessed and Collected [60A:6]
The excise on a motor vehicle should be assessed and collected in the municipality
where that vehicle is principally garaged. The owner's insurance coverage selection
sheet provides the best evidence of the place of garaging.

Accuracy of Commitment to Warrant
The assessors' warrant should agree with the total commitment sheet. Acceptance
of the warrant by the collector obligates him to collect the full amount shown
thereon.

Mailing Excise Bills (See Ch. IE.)
   1.      First class pre-sort mailing discount — More excise bills are sent out than
           any other single item. Therefore, the collector should investigate the post-
           age savings available through the use of presort, first class discount.


Page 6-2
                                                                        Motor Vehicle Excise

    2.   Postal discounts relate directly to the amount of work shifted from the
         post office to the collector. Therefore, the collector should ascertain the
         cost/benefit of each discount before employing any additional in-house re-
         sources.

Bills Returned for Incorrect Address
    1.   Whenever an excise is returned as undeliverable, the collector should
         make a reasonable attempt to verify the correct billing address, choosing
         from among the following resources:
         a.   post office — For a charge of 50 cents per forwarded item, the collec-
              tor can mark all envelopes, “Forwarding and Address Correction Re-
              quested,” whereupon the post office will forward the bill, if the for-
              warding time has not expired, and send the collector a card with the
              new address.
         b.   Real estate commitment book.
         c.   Local water or electric light department.
         d.   Telephone or Folk's directories.
         e.   U.S. Postal Service computerized system on CD ROM.
    2.   Collectors should inform the assessors of new addresses that they obtain.
    3.   Ch. 90 §26A requires registrants to notify the Registry in writing of any
         change in name or change of residential or mailing address within 30 days
         of the change. The Registry may suspend or revoke the license and/or reg-
         istration of any person who fails to comply with this requirement. The sta-
         tute also authorizes the Registry to use reasonable sources, including in-
         surance and postal records, to update its address records.
    4.   A registrant can change his address in the Registry's files through use of
         an orange change of address card.
    5.   Collectors may also want to establish their own address file for excise ac-
         counts with chronic mailing address problems.

Failure to Receive a Bill [60A:2]
“...[F]ailure to receive notice [tax bill] shall not affect the validity of the excise.”

Death of an Owner
    1.   Bill Issued before Owner's Death
         The executor or administrator should pay the excise, however; the collec-
         tor must commence an action within 12 months of a registrant's death or
         lose the community's right to recover the obligation. [197:9]
    2.   Bill Issued after Owner's Death [60:36]


                                                                                    Page 6-3
Motor Vehicle Excise

           The bill should be addressed to the owner's estate. The executor or admin-
           istrator becomes personally liable for any non-payment up to 6 years after
           the owner's death.
   3.      If the time limit expires before the collector becomes aware of a registrant's
           demise, the debt becomes unenforceable.

Form and Content of Bills
Form of Bills
So long as they comply with published Department of Revenue guidelines, cities
and towns may vary the format of excise bills. B. Content of Bills
   1.      Excise Bills
           Bills for motor vehicle excises must include:
           a.   Tax date and excise year: The bills should be captioned “Notice of Mo-
                tor Vehicle and Trailer Excise or Motor Vehicle and Trailer Excise
                Bill” and must state the applicable excise year. The bills must also
                state the tax date of January 1st or the date the vehicle was regis-
                tered, if registered after January 1st.
           b.   Taxpayer information: The name, mailing address, and license to op-
                erate number of the person assessed the excise.
           c.   Vehicle description: A description of the vehicle subject to the excise.
                This characterization must include the following:
                (1) Registration number of the vehicle.
                (2) Model year of the vehicle.
                (3) Make of the vehicle.
                (4) Vehicle identification number.
           d.   Valuation: The value of the vehicle calculated pursuant to the sche-
                dule in Ch. 60A §1.
           e.   Excise rate: $25 per $1,000 of valuation.
           f.   Amount of excise due.
           g.   Excise due date.
                (1) The date the excise bill was issued.
                (2) A statement that the excise is due and payable in full within 30
                    days of issue.
           h.   Payment instructions
                (1) Checks must be payable to the city or town.
                (2) The address to mail payments.


Page 6-4
                                                                  Motor Vehicle Excise

             (3) Collector's office hours,
        i.   Billing appeal rights information:
             The bill must include the following statement on late payment penal-
             ties: “If not paid when due, subject to penalties of interest, demand,
             charges, and fees.” The reverse side of the bill must provide the bill-
             ing and appeal rights information shown in the model IGR.
   2.   Demand Notices
        If the motor vehicle excise is not paid when due, the collector should make
        a demand for payment. Demand notices must include:
        a.   The same tax date and excise year, taxpayer, vehicle description, val-
             uation, excise rate, and payment instruction information found on
             the excise bill as explained above.
        b.   The dates the excise bill and the demand were issued.
        c.   The   following information on the amount due:
             (1)   Amount of the excise.
             (2)   Any abatements issued on the excise bill.
             (3)   Amount overdue.
             (4)   Amount of interest on the overdue amount.
             (5)   Demand charge of $5.
             (6)   Total amount due.
        d.   The following statements:
             (1) In compliance with the law, I hereby demand of you payment of
                 your motor vehicle and trailer excise.
             (2) Unless said excise, together with interest and $5 for this de-
                 mand, is paid within 14 days from the demand date, collection
                 will be enforced according to the law.

Delinquent Bills

Use of a Deputy Collector
The collector may appoint a deputy collector to assist in the collection of delin-
quent motor vehicle excises.

Date Due and Payable [60A:2]
   1.   The motor vehicle and trailer excise is due and payable within 30 days
        from the date of issue, printed on the bill, or 30 days from the date of
        mailing, whichever is later.




                                                                              Page 6-5
Motor Vehicle Excise

   2.      Interest is calculated from the 31st day after the issue date to the date of
           payment.

Payment Adjustments
   1.      Ch. 60 §15 permits a collector to waive payment of the interest, charges,
           and fees that may be a collectible part of the tax bill, but only if the total
           of such amounts does not exceed $5.
   2.      Ch. 60A does not extend any authorization to accept partial payments of
           an excise; therefore, a collector may properly refuse to accept anything
           less than full payment.

Demand
If payment is not made within 30 days after the motor vehicle excise bill is first
mailed, the collector should send a demand. The demand may not be issued until
at least one day has elapsed after the bill became due and payable.

Interest
Interest accrues at the rate of 12% per annum from the 31st day after the issue
date of an excise bill.

Warrant to the Deputy Collector
   1.      If a demand is not paid within 14 days, the collector may issue a warrant
           to the deputy collector. The $5 charge for the warrant is added to the bill.
   2.      The deputy collector must send a “Notice of Issuance of Warrant to Collect
           Excise or Tax” using State Tax Form 275. The charge for this notice is $9.
   3.      If payment is not made within 30 days of the mailing of the notice, service
           must be made on the delinquent. The person performing service must ac-
           tually exhibit the warrant to the delinquent or leave a copy of it at the de-
           linquent's last place of residence or business. A. fee for service may be
           added to the excise bill only if the server properly executes and submits to
           the collector State Tax Form 276, “Certification of Service of Warrant” for
           that particular bill. The charge for service is $14.

Non-Renewal of License and Registration
   1.      Placing the mark
           If payment is not made after service of a warrant, the collector, at any
           time, may request the Registrar to place the license and registration of the
           registrant in non-renewal status, whereupon the delinquent will be unable
           to renew either his license or the registration on the subject excise, upon
           their respective expirations, until after the excise obligation has been paid.




Page 6-6
                                                               Motor Vehicle Excise

     In addition, the registrant will be unable to transfer some other registra-
     tion to that vehicle or register it with a new registration.
2.   Outside collection assistance
     The collector may engage outside assistance to facilitate marking at the
     Registry, choosing from among the following options:
     a.   Deputy tax collection services, or
     b.   Collection agencies.
3.   Time limitation on marking
     Pursuant to Registry guidelines, a license and/or registration may not be
     placed in non-renewal status following the expiration of two years after the
     bill was issued.
4.   Information required to mark
     a.   Bill number.
     b.   Bill issuance date.
     c.   Vehicle registration number.
     d.   Owner's name and license number.
5.   Clearing non-renewal marks
     The collector is responsible to remove all marks after the obligations
     representing them have been satisfied. This can be done as follows:
     a.   Batch Clear Transaction. Because this alternative does not effect an
          immediate removal of marks, the collector must also issue a certified
          receipt for each mark removed. A subject registrant can then present
          the receipt to the Registry as evidence of removal of the mark relating
          to him.
     b.   On-Line Clearance. With this alternative, a person authorized by the
          Registry removes marks immediately through a direct computer
          hook-up with the Registry.
6.   Clearance distinctions
     a.   The mark on a license should not be removed until all motor vehicle
          excises owed by that person have been paid.
     b.   The mark on a registration should be removed upon payment of the
          total amount due on the particular vehicle subject to that registra-
          tion. The collector should not refuse to remove the mark because ex-
          cises are due on other vehicles registered by that registrant.




                                                                          Page 6-7
Motor Vehicle Excise

           c.   The fee for releasing a mark is $20. The municipality collects and de-
                posits the money and is subsequently charged for the release on its
                Cherry Sheet.

Other Remedies
The collector possesses all other Ch. 60 remedies to enforce collection of a delin-
quent excise.

Uncollectible Excise [60A:7]
The collector, if convinced that a motor vehicle excise is uncollectible because of
death, absence, poverty, insolvency, bankruptcy, or other inability to pay, may
give notice to the assessors, using Form 380A-60A-7. The assessors have 30 days
to act after receipt of the notice. Upon granting an abatement, the assessors must
issue an abatement certificate to the collector. This certification will discharge the
collector from any further obligation with respect to this excise.

This abatement in no way relieves the delinquent from the tax obligation. If the tax
is collected and turned over by the deputy collector at some future time, the col-
lector must notify the assessors in order to recommit the bill.

Abatements Pursuant to Ch. 58 §8
In circumstances where the assessors desire to abate an excise but have no juris-
diction to do so, they may petition the Commissioner of Revenue for authority to
abate under Ch. 58 §8. This statute affords a procedure to correct substantial in-
equities which may not be remedied by the usual abatement process. As a thre-
shold requirement, the taxpayer must show that extraordinary or mitigating cir-
cumstances prevented use of the regular abatement process. If the assessors
abate an excise under this statute following approval by the Department of Reve-
nue, they will issue an abatement certificate to the collector who should record the
abatement in the commitment book against the appropriate account. Thereupon,
the obligation is closed out and the collector is relieved of the amount on his bond.
Specific data on the 8 of 58 abatement can be obtained from the Division of Local
Services, IGR No. 92-206.

Statute of Limitations
No statute of limitations exists for the collection of motor vehicle excises; however,
the primary remedies to enforce collection of delinquent excises are time limited.
For example, the collector can only bring a breach of contract action for non-
payment within six years of the issuance of an excise bill. Additionally, pursuant
to Registry guidelines, a license or registration cannot be marked for non-renewal
later than two years after the initial tax was issued.




Page 6-8
                                                                   Motor Vehicle Excise

Bankruptcy (See Ch. Ill of this manual.)

Priority Claim
Title 11 §523 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code states that any excise due and payable
within the 3 years prior to the filing of a bankruptcy petition is a priority claim.
Assessors should only abate such excises upon order of the Bankruptcy Court.

Marking
If the mark is placed before an individual files for protection under the bankruptcy
laws, it is legitimately recorded; however, a mark cannot be placed after a petition
for bankruptcy has been filed.

Proof of Claim
Upon a bankruptcy filing, the collector should file a proof of claim for outstanding
excises as well as for delinquent municipal taxes.

Abatements
Authority to Abate
   1.   The assessors have statutory power to grant motor vehicle excise abate-
        ments.
   2.   Applications for abatement must be filed with the assessors on or before
        December 31st of the year following the year for which the excise was as-
        sessed; or, if the excise bill was mailed after December 1st of the following
        year, the taxpayer has 30 days from the date of mailing in which to file.

Circumstances Entitling Registrant to Abatement
   1.   Ownership is transferred by sale or otherwise and the registration can-
        celed or transferred to another vehicle.
   2.   The owner moves to another state or country, registers the vehicle there,
        and cancels the Massachusetts registration. Evidence of registration in
        another jurisdiction is sufficient to show cancellation of the Massachu-
        setts registration.
   3.   A vehicle is valued in excess of the formula amount set out in the Ch. 60A
        §1 table.
   4.   A vehicle is stolen, the theft reported to the police and the registration
        canceled.
   5.   A registrant cancels the registration on a vehicle during the calendar year
        and subsequently registers the vehicle in the same year. The person would




                                                                               Page 6-9
Motor Vehicle Excise

        not be entitled to an abatement of the initial registration but would be of
        the subsequent registration.

Minimum Abatements
No abatement may be granted in an amount less than $5.

Procedures for the Collector
   1.   The assessors will issue an abatement certificate to the collector using
        Form 146.
   2.   The collector should post the amount of the abatement to the proper
        commitment.
   3.   The collector should also receive from the assessors a copy of the monthly
        total for abatements and exemptions granted. The collector should recon-
        cile this report with the individual certificates.

Interest on Abatements
   1.   If the Appellate Tax Board orders an abatement, the town must refund any
        overpayment as a result of the Appellate Tax Board decision with interest
        at 6% from the date of payment to the date of the refund.
   2.   No interest is due, if the abatement is granted by the board of assessors.

Education, Scholarship and Low Income Elderly & Disabled Fund
Donations
   1.   Cities and towns may designate a place on the motor vehicle excise bill or
        demand bill (or design a separate form to be mailed with the bills) allowing
        taxpayers a choice of whether or not to make a donation to their local
        education, scholarship or low income elderly and disabled persons fund.
   2.   The form attached to the excise bill must conform to the specifications of
        the Department of Revenue and may include instructions to the taxpayer
        on how to contribute. Annual IGRs for model property and excise bills
        contain sample forms.
   3.   In order to establish such a fund and procedure, the community must
        first accept Ch. 60 §3C and/or Ch. 60 §3D by town meeting or town/city
        council vote.
   4.   Contribution Amount
        Voluntary contributions of not less than $1 must be accepted by the col-
        lector and turned over to the treasurer who, as custodian, will invest these
        monies for use by the committees.




Page 6-10
                                                                  Motor Vehicle Excise

Lifetime Registrations

Applicability
   1.   This form of registration applies to passenger series plates that remain
        with the same person who does not become delinquent with parking tick-
        ets or excises.
   2.   The registrant must pay a one-time fee of $30. If the plates become lost,
        stolen, revoked or voluntarily surrendered, a new $30 fee is assessed.
   3.   Life-time plates are renewed automatically, unless the registrant owes
        parking fines or excises.
   4.   Vanity plates and other special plates do not qualify for the one-time fee.

Causes for Ending Lifetime Status
   1.   Registration revoked.
   2.   Registration canceled, either with Plate Return Receipt or Lost Plate Affi-
        davit.
   3.   Old plate exchanged for a new one.

Suspended Registration
   1.   The Registry notifies the registrant by letter.
   2.   Customers must clear suspension status.
   3.   Upon resolution of causes for suspension, registration status will resume.
   4.   When police remove a plate from a motor vehicle and process a CA 19
        transaction, the lifetime registration ends.

Renewal Cycle
   1.   The renewal cycle begins 60 days before the expiration date.
   2.   The registration type, status, and insurance verification will determine the
        notice that is sent to the customer.
   3.   The customer will receive either a renewed registration (UR1 form), an
        RMV-2 or a non-renewal letter.
        a.   Automatic renewal does not require a plate fee or insurance verifica-
             tion.
        b.   RMV-2 requires a special plate fee.

Renewal Options
   1.   In person or by mail or telephone.


                                                                            Page 6-11
Motor Vehicle Excise

   2.   Registrants receive a $5 discount for renewing by mail.

NOTE: For additional information, consult the Motor Vehicle Excise. Assessment,
Collection, and Abatement Manual prepared by the Property Tax Bureau of the Di-
vision of Local Services.




Page 6-12
                                                                                               Motor Vehicle Excise


                                                          Index
abatements ........................................ 8, 9        license ................................................... 6
bankruptcy ............................................ 9       lifetime registrations ............................ 11
collecting the excise ............................... 2         mailing excise bills ................................. 2
commitment .......................................... 2         motor vehicle excise ............................... 1
death of an owner .................................. 3          non-renewal of license and registration.. 6
delinquent bills ...................................... 5       payment adjustments ............................ 6
demand ................................................. 6      preparation of tax bills and commitment 2
deputy collector ..................................... 5        priority claim ......................................... 9
determination of vehicle value................ 1                registration period ................................. 2
donations............................................. 10       statute of limitations .............................. 8
education, scholarship and low income                           uncollectible excise ................................ 8
     elderly & disabled fund donations . 10                     vehicle
excise..................................................... 1      excise ................................................. 1
excise levy.............................................. 1        registration......................................... 2
failure to receive a bill ............................ 3           value .................................................. 1
form of bills ........................................... 4     warrant .............................................. 2, 6
interest ............................................ 6, 10




                                                                                                               Page 6-13

				
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